Do Gay Men Have to Go It Alone When It Comes To Dating?


Is setting two people up on a date old-fashioned? In the age of Grindr, okCupid, and numerous other technology-based avenues to meet “the one”, has the “John meet Chris”, “Chris meet John” intro become obsolete? Or is this past-time ritual a tool gay men could revive or at least be more intentional with?

I’ll be the first to admit that online dating was the route I took. And I might be one of the few who really enjoyed it. Meeting new people is something I inherently love, so it felt less like work and more like an adventure. And I guess the bonus was that I met my boyfriend through okCupid almost three years ago.

But online dating isn’t for everyone. Location-based apps aren’t for everyone. Some say we’re losing that physical, emotional ability to connect when we’re so often behind a screen. The truth is that there are possibilities. There are options to approach dating in a more thoughtful way.

I’m grateful to have so many gay male friends who are phenomenal guys. Smart. Funny. Good-looking. Big hearts. Some are in relationships. Others are single. But overall, there seems to be an underlying agreement that the status quo of how to meet a nice gay man isn’t really working.

Unfortunately, I don’t think many gay men even consider their friends as a primary resource to meet a man. Maybe some do. That just hasn’t been my experience. Is it tough to pinpoint what we’re actually looking for? Is there often a gap between what someone says they want and what they actually want? Are some of us just afraid to ask for help? 

If one of your gay male friends is looking for a relationship, how can you go about making an introduction? I ask this because this is something I’ve been asking myself more often as of late.

My natural inclination is to first ask questions: What kind/type of man are they looking for? What kind of relationship are they looking for? What’s their own dating history and what would be their idea of a fun first date? Sure, you can’t force love. But having more information from my friends about what they’re looking for is super helpful. 

Maybe it’s time for us as gay men to be more conscious cheerleaders and allies for our single gay friends who want to find that special someone. To help them wade through the mass of gay men and bypass the usual avenues for finding love — bars, apps, the Internet. I’m guilty of finding love and not really being part of my close friend’s love life. If they didn’t want any assistance, that’s fine. I don’t want to be the nosy neighbor peeking out the window. But if a friend did want to be introduced to another guy, I’d love to be able to help out.

A part of this would be me letting go of the outcome and ridding myself of expectations should I set two guys up. They may click. They may not. They might hookup. They might not. That’s none of my business. But I would love to be more helpful when it comes my friends finding love. 

Perhaps this more intentional, relational-focused approach could improve the dating experience for all gay men. Make dating a little less scary. Less awkward. And, dare I say, more fun!!

I want to hear from you guys — in relationships or single. Would you be interested in your friends setting you up on dates or are you fine navigating things on your own? What’s been your experience? If a friend were to set you up on date, what would you what them to take into consideration?

Photo credit: Nikolas Koutoulas

Written by

Josh Hersh

Josh Hersh, life coach and entrepreneur, works alongside thoughtful gay men to help them craft a life bursting with joy, love, and purpose. He also works with time-starved freelancers and solopreneurs to boost productivity and grow their business. He founded The Thoughtful Gay Man, whose mission is to create a world where every gay man lives empowered and from the heart. He currently lives in Chicago with his boyfriend, Sergio.
  • Derick Lynch

    I would love to be set up on a date. I love online and apps too, but they have not been very kind to me. I met my first boyfriend in the classic run into each other way, but that was a few years ago, and it’s been near impossible to find someone else like that. There was one situation where I met a guy through a friend, and we hit it off. I have a crush on him, but he hasn’t even so much as asked me how I’m doing since that night. Our mutual friend knows, but he’s so lost in his own life and problems, I don’t even think he WANTS to help. It’s definitely difficult. It will happen one of these days though.